Lena Ziegler: My Body’s Hauntings

Daughter, These Dangers Are a Brightness Inside

know nothing will ignite you like the sound of your own bones breaking. you must learn young all language is a longing & its meaning is that slinky sort of beast slithering silver in the space between your breaths. like me, you will toddle through the wreckage of the home your mother built & you will crumble & you will hate & you will anger & you will never be more human than the moments you doubt that you are. know you are sister to rough hands & wet cheeks & blooming genius. know you are not now and will never be a princess.  know if you are a daughter, or a son instead, or a bottled beam of light, you may shatter-crack this world into submission. know you may revel in its mediocrity. know you are not broken even when you think you are. know someday you will love another. know some days you will wake up with your skin burning, clawing for escape. know your own heart houses many dangers & will birth galaxies. know you are the burgeoning inside. know that I spent a lifetime growing you in the magma center of myself & seek only to release you, to witness the fury of all that you are, burning bright your own constellation.


Tender Men Reserve Their Love for Women Who Don’t Give Blow Jobs

But I have found solace in cradling flesh in throat coaxing nurturance from saliva from muffled voice from wingless want shrieking this is how I can know you but there is an untouchable tenderness that exists in the lives of women without double chins don’t say you haven’t noticed this makes sinking self so much simpler for all this want that cannot be quantified there is a kindness growling faintly within mouth so muffled but its all laughter but its all borderlands but its all label-less but its all rumblings but its all its all so I asked my therapist to validate hunger and I told him of my body’s hauntings and the men that have tickled its ghost bones I told him of my voiceless craving for a man with sweet teeth and no consequence and I told him I told him there is no sacrifice like growing holes there is no surrender like filling

Lena Ziegler is a writer of fiction, nonfiction, and the occasional uncomfortable poem. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Western Kentucky University, and is pursuing her PhD in Rhetoric and Writing at Bowling Green State University. She has been a finalist in GoldLine Press's Non-fiction Chapbook contest. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Red Earth ReviewMiracle MonocleHarpoon ReviewBreathe Free PressFredericksburg Literary and Arts Review, Gambling the Aisle and others